Red Hydra Press
~ Alabama
(Steve Miller)


Fine Press and Artist's Books by Red Hydra Press
Miniatures by Red Hydra Press
Parallel Editions projects at the University of Alabama

Red Ozier editions by Steve Miller

By Suzannah Gilman
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2013. Edition of 50.

11 x 12" single sheet. Broadside designed and letterpress printed deploying SangBleu types by Steve Miller. Presented in two blues and a black on white Rives BFK. Drawing by Jane Marshall. Signed by poet.

A poem by Florida poet Suzannah Gilman, encircled by a pen-and-ink drawing by Jane Marshall.

Steve Miller: "The first time I read the poem I was struck by the sense of words circling back on themselves – a very loving and quiet poem. I challenged Jane Marshall to circle around the poem with a wash of imagery. She sat at our kitchen island and drew all day. I chose the very first drawing she did for its raw qualities, and was pleased with how it translated through letterpress in a silvered blue."

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Broken Shells
By Mary Wehner
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2009. Edition of 30.

16 x 24" single sheet. Letterpress printed in two colors on dampened Somerset printmaking paper. Text in English and Spanish. Illustrations by Pollyanna Fernández Fernández. The lively translation is by Maria Vargas.

This broadside combines a poem by Wisconsin poet, Mary Wehner, a colored lithograph print by Cuban artist, Pollyanna Fernández Fernández, and the printing and typographic design of Steve Miller.

Red Hydra Press: "[Broken Shells at Dusk] with evocative words by the Wisconsin poet Mary Wehner, was designed and letterpress-printed in two colors by Steve Miller in both English and Spanish.

"After words and titles were printed, the sheets were hand-carried to Havana, Cuba. At Taller Experimental de Gráfica a multi-colored stone lithograph was printed by the artist Pollyanna Fernández Fernández. This striking image partly invades the typography. The sheets were then hand-carried back on the airplane to Alabama. Signed by both author and artist, each copy is marked with the chop of the Taller (the colophon is on the back of the sheet, with signatures on the front). "

This isn't ocean, only inlet, narrow waterway
of silt, tangle of willows, slow tempo and wash
from a trolling boat. ...

Esto no es océano, solamente caleta, agosta vía fluvial
de cieno, confusión de sauces, cadenica lenta de olas
de un bote meciéndose a flor del agua. ...


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The Breather
By Billy Collins
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2008. Edition of 55.

17 x 11" single sheet. Painting printed using an Epson R2400 inkjet printer. Text letterpress printed in two colors. Edition of 55: 25 copies on Epson Velvet Matte Fine Art paper (11 x 17"); 30 copies on Somerset Enhanced (11.5 x 16.5").

Red Hydra Press: "This is a fresh poem broadside, with an evocative painting by Dana Moore, published by Red Hydra Press, 2008. While working on a book at Penland School of Crafts during the fall of 2007, letterpress printer Steve Miller saw some amazing oil paintings by North Carolina artist Dana Moore. One of them, two distant trees, stuck, so Miller called Billy Collins from the letterpress studio and described it as a metaphor for a kind of relationship. Based on this conversation Billy Collins sent the printer some new poems, and 'The Breather' was selected to partner with the painting."

Steve Miller: "The final piece is an experiment in two ways. First: to get the painting to print well on two different Epson printer-suitable papers was a challenge. The Epson R2400 inkjet printer is finicky, and the color printing was a real challenge. Thanks to the help of The University of Alabama Art professor Brian Evans I was able to print the painting.

"Second: in consultation with John Horn at his Shooting Star Press in Arkansas, I decided to bite the bullet and for the first time, instead of making fun of it, to use Linotype for Billy's poem. Linotype is a type-casting technology that was often employed by newspapers to cast a line at a time in the form of a single slug, rather than the individual pieces of type that are more often used now by letterpress printers. Linotype seemed not to be a very flexible medium, but in the hands of the right person it can fairly sing on the page. In his collection of Linotype matrixes, John showed me 14-point Weiss, and then he cast some lines. I decided to go with it and am pleased with the printed results. John cast the poem text and I used hand-set foundry Weiss for the titling.

"So, on the sheets with Dana Moore's printed painting the poem was printed in reflex blue-infused black ink on the large, automated Vandercook proof press. This was the first time I ever printed with a press that automatically rolled the cylinder, and it was truly fun."

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The Names
By Billy Collins
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2003. Edition of 100.

13 x 9", with Bembo types printed by hand on a field of atmospheric blue. Printed letterpress in an edition of one hundred press-numbered copies, each signed by the author.

"United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins, reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001, wrote a powerful poem, 'The Names', and read it aloud at a joint session of Congress in New York City on September 6, 2002."

Proceeds from the sale of this work will benefit 'Guiding Eyes for the Blind' in Yorktown Heights, New York, an organization that provides highly trained guide dogs for the blind.


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Out of print broadsides by Steve Miller:  

By Billy Collins
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Red Hydra Press, 2009. Edition of 59.

11 x 16" single sheet. Letterpress printed in three colors on dampen handmade paper. Illustration by Jane Marshall. Signed by the poet.

Red Hydra Press: "This is a marvelous poem by Billy Collins, heard by the printer on National Public Radio, that mixes together the Gutenburg [sic] Bible, printing, sheep, and vellum. Steve Miller has created this limited edition poem broadside with a drawing by Birmingham artist Jane Marshall."

Typically prescient irony carries this Collins poem, which first appeared in The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems (Random House, 2005).



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Page last update: 08.11.14


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